I cut my hair again. This will be the 3rdtime I have “big chopped” my hair and the 2ndtime it was “big chopped” into a TTWA (Teeny Tiny Weeny Afro). I have allowed my hair to grow in its natural state for the past 4 years. A hair choice that I made without caring what others thought, until now.
The first week I had my new cut (Teeny Tiny Weeny Afro), was the Thursday before this Thanksgiving. It was cut a little lower than I had preferred and I felt my confidence reach a new low. In the last 12 years, I have gained a lot of weight. So much so that I believe I am unrecognizable to those that knew me in high school and college, and when I focus on this physical change I get down on myself. But that’s another blog for another time. Anyway because of the weight gain and the lower than expected cut, I felt like I looked like a man. More specifically, I thought I resembled the rapper Mannie Fresh. For those that don’t know who he is, Mannie Fresh was a rapper and DJ brought to prominence by Cash Money Records, back in the 99 and 2000. He used to rap and produce music with Lil’ Wayne when he first came out. My husband laughed with me as I joked to hide my disappointment, but was quick to remind me that he still saw me as the beautiful woman he married. I love how he loves me Flaws and All.
I tried to believe him beyond what I saw reflecting back at me, but when I was at a store, I was almost called Sir! Yep! I was confused with being a male. This happened before when I was a child, but that too is another story.
—-Here’s how it happened this time—-
At the grocery store, a man was coming down the aisle I was on. He was very focused on finding chips. He had a flock of little boys along with him, that were getting snacks for a birthday sleepover. He was walking towards me while continuing to look at the chip section, when he realized that he was about to be in my way. In a very polite voice he said,” Excuse me sss-ma’am”. During his back peddling of replacing “sss” with “ma’am”, the damage had already been done. He had spoken the truth and I heard him. I looked like a chunky young man. I don’t desire to look like a man, so this just added more fuel to the burning embers in my hearth of self pity. Every time I looked in a mirror, I was full of regret and disappointment. My confidence was no where to be found. I even tried not to make eye contact with others because of my embarrassment in how I looked.
The next day at a different store in Alabama (we were traveling for Thanksgiving) an older lady asked for my opinion about a hat she was trying on. I told her what I thought and she agreed. She mentioned that she actually wanted something more snug. She then took the hat off and I saw that she was practically bald with some patches of gray hair sticking out wildly. She explained to me that she had survived cancer twice, and her hair was always being shaved off. She added that she wanted a hat with a tighter fit, that could protect her head from the cold, and was also stylish.
In that 5 minutes I was quickly brought back to reality. How dare I continue to base my beauty off of the length of my hair from a choice I made, from a cut I wanted. I also allowed the thoughts of others become too great in my mind that I felt worthless. This lady had no choice in the length of her cut because it all had to be removed for reasons out of her hand. She didn’t care what others thought because she knew there was more to LIFE than hair.
I realized that I needed to shut up and stop complaining about my cut gone wrong and I learned a lesson about beauty and thankfulness. I can not base my beauty on what the eyes can see. Yes, I have changed a lot physically since high school and college, but if I was beautiful then I’m still beautiful now. No matter how much has been added to my weight and no matter the length of my hair. I am thankful that I am not fighting a battle that could cost me more than some hair. It’s just hair…mine can grow back.
I am also thankful that I have a husband, that sees me as beautiful even when I don’t. He sees me the way I need to see myself, Beautiful and Secure in myself no matter what.
“I AM NOT MY HAIR”-India.Arie
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